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Disabled girl in M1 crash drama in Leicestershire

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A disabled teenage girl was suspended upside down in her wheelchair after the people carrier she was in overturned on the M1.

Firefighters fought to free the youngster and a woman driving the vehicle while a woman passenger managed to get out of the vehicle.

The silver Peugeot vehicle ended up on its roof on the southbound carriageway, a mile south of junction 20, the Lutterworth turn-off, close to the Misterton works area, just before 10am yesterday.

Two lanes of the motorway were closed to allow fire crews to carry out the rescue operation.

Long queues of bank holiday traffic built up, extending northwards of junction 20.

Incident commander, watch manager Karl Anderson, of Lutterworth fire station, said: "Two people were trapped inside the overturned vehicle.

"We used cutting equipment at the rear of the vehicle where the girl was trapped upside down in her wheelchair and on the driver's side to get the two casualties out.

"It was a challenging operation to get the young disabled girl free because she was still in the wheelchair in the rear of the vehicle upside down."

Throughout the incident, the girl's battery-powered wheelchair stood alongside the vehicle on the hard shoulder.

Firefighters from Lutterworth were aided by the technical rescue unit from Leicester's southern station and a crew from Rugby, in neighbouring Warwickshire.

The Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland Air Ambulance also landed nearby, but was not needed to ferry any casualties to hospital.

The girl, the woman driver and another woman in the Peugeot were taken to hospital in two land ambulances.

The driver was placed on a board provided by the fire service for suspected spinal injuries as a precaution, said Mr Anderson.

He said: "It was a more labour- intensive rescue that required thought to avoid causing her any more injuries.

"The three women appeared to have suffered minor cuts and bruises and were transferred to hospital in two ambulances.

"The driver was put on a long board as a precaution.

"All the casualties were in shock.

"We were there for about an hour and we had to have two lane closures put in place because of the difficulties in removing the casualties – we needed extra space."

Two lanes of the motorway were reopened by about 11.45am.

The inside lane remained closed for some time afterwards while crash investigators examined the scene.

Disabled girl in M1 crash drama in Leicestershire


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